George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Philip Schuyler, 16 October 1776

From Major General Philip Schuyler

Saratoga [N.Y.] Octo. 16. 1776
Six oClock Afternoon

Dr Sir

Inclosed you have Copies of Letters from Generals Gates and Arnold, announcing the total Destruction of our Fleet on Lake Champlain.1 I shall write to every State nearest me to march up their Militia to support our Army as the Enemy will doubtless very soon attack it, and do every thing in my Power to prevent their penutrating into the Country, should our Army be obliged to give way which I have good Hopes will not be the Case. I am Dr Sir Your Excellency’s most obedt hum. Servt

Ph: Schuyler

LS, DLC:GW; LB, NN: Schuyler Papers; copy, enclosed in Harrison to Hancock, 20 Oct. 1776, DNA:PCC, item 152; copy, DNA:PCC, item 169.

1After Arnold’s fleet was defeated at Valcour Island on 11 Oct., it attempted to escape the pursuing British vessels by sailing south on Lake Champlain, only to be caught and attacked about ten miles north of Crown Point on 13 October. Arnold, who reached Ticonderoga with many of his men after beaching and burning his flagship and four smaller vessels, wrote Schuyler on 15 Oct. describing the action. “Of our whole Fleet,” Arnold says, “we have saved, only two Gallies, two small Schooners, one Gondola and one Sloop. . . . The Enemies Fleet were last Night three Miles below Crown Point, their Army is doubtless at their Heels, we are busily employed in compleating our Lines, Redoubts, which I am sorry to say are not so forward as I could wish, we have very few heavy Cannon, but are mounting every Piece we have, it is the Opinion of General’s Gates and Sinclair [Arthur St. Clair], that eight or ten Thousand Militia should be immediately sent to our Assistance, if they can possibly be spared from below. I am of Opinion the Enemy will attack us with their Fleet, and Army, at the same Time, the former is very Formidable. . . . The Season is so far advanced, our People are daily growing more healthy, we have about nine Thousand effectives, and if properly supported, make no Doubt of stopping the Career of the Enemy.” The enclosed copies of Arnold’s letter and Gates’s covering letter to Schuyler of the same date are in DLC:GW.

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